A Memorable Dayposted by John Blanco @ 5:08 PM
Today was one of those memorable days you'll never, ever forget. Sometimes, you can have these days without any significant even occurring. Today wasn't one of those days.
The day stated off early, about 6:00 AM. Michele, Cedric and I were going to see Barack Obama at Denver University. The plan was to drive there, get there about 7:30 AM, and watch the speech at 8:30. That is so far from what happened it's ridiculous!
We left a little before 7 AM, and were right on schedule. However, while listening to the radio, they mentioned Barack's being at DU at -- 10 AM? That's not right. We looked at the RSVP's and sure enough, the DOORS OPENED at 8:30 AM. The speech was at 10. Dang! This was spoiling my plan to be at work by 10:30.
Since we had the extra time, we went to Perkins for breakfast, and then at 8:20 or so we left.
We were a half-mile away from DU when I suddenly noticed a LOT of cars parked on the side of the road and in the neighborhood. Whoa. There were Obama stickers all over! OMG people are parking already!! Quickly, we found a spot and had to walk a ways to get to DU.
As we were walking, we could see the mass of people. A lot of people were here!! As we got to the edge of the campus, we could start seeing THE LINE. IT WAS HUGE!!!!! Holy crap. A woman was walking with us (Cedric was flirting with her while we walked) and we walked together for over 20 minutes before we could find the end of the line. Oh, man. The hope of getting in to see Barack speak was slim to none.
We walked and walked and found the end of the first huge line, and then saw another. We followed that one around and around until we hit a quirky U-turn and...ukkk, it was just too long. On top of that, Cedric was starting to cry from the cold and wanting his mommy...and we just assumed we'd never make it so we decided, disappointedly, to leave. :-(
On the way out, we passed by the other end of the line, and what does Michele hear? Someone was calling my name. I look, and it's...ready?...BILL SINCLAIR! A friend of mine I worked with in 2001 at Qubit Technology. We've been in touch slightly since then, but haven't seen each other since about 2002. And here is at the Obama rally! Freakin crazy. We chatted for a minute, but Cedric was upset and we had to go.
We went all the way back to the car. Michele fed Cedric while I was just sad to not be able to get in. After she was done, I decided I'd just walk to the DU Light Rail Station rather than have her drive me to D&B's. So, I left while Michele drove home.
Now, here's where the story gets weird.
So, I'm walking to the Light Rail Station and as I look to my left, I just was so sad that here's the huge rally going on, and these HUGE lines, and I'm just walking by them. I had 2 hours before I needed to be at work, so...I just decided WTF, let me wait on the line and if I don't get in, I don't get in. The end of the line is right there!
So I just go on the line and whip out my book and read while I wait...not moving. An Obama coordinator was there and she was saying there was a large spillover space for those who couldn't get in. Well, hmm, that might be OK. Big screen with sound, OK, OK.
So, I was standing there for about 5 minutes, watching the cop car pull up. Reading. Then, a few minutes later and I hear sirens coming. The guy in the cop car jumps out and runs over to the taxi that was sorta blocking the entrance to the parking lot and smacks the trunk and yells at the guy to "Move, move!"
I'm totally unthinking to what's going on. And then I see a bunch of cop cars and, seriously, my only thoughts are that there must be an incident going on. Cop car. Cop car. It's a motorcade! The people on the line stat buzzing and I'm starting to realize what's going! And here comes a Town Car...it was BARACK! In the rear driver-side seat is Caroline Kennedy, and in the passenger side is Barack, waving at us on the line. How. Freakin. Sweet. :-)
So, my thoughts at this point, besides "Wow", are that even if I don't get in, how lucky was I to actually be one of the few to have seen Barack already! Cool.
A bunch of us were chatting about the event and then somewhere further up some others joined the line. Two other women and I were chatting for a while as the line was moving pretty fast. While we were still quite a ways from Magness Arena, we heard the chatter that the "doors were closed." Uh oh. So we kept walking.
As we got to Magness, people were streaming out. Rejected. As we got closer, an Obama volunteer was directing us to the Lacrosse Field for oveflow. They said sound would be pumped out so we could hear the speech. That sounds, OK. I can work while I listen!
Our little trio had to hop down some steps and we walked all the way around onto the Lacrosse Field. The weather was sorta nice and we got pretty close to the stands. Then, we heard that Barack would be coming out to say hello. Whoa!
I had decided the location he'd likely be, judging by the security and where the mic was being set up (wink!), and so we moved in closer to that spot. Just a few minutes later, the crowd was roaring in places...he was coming!
And then Mr. Obama came out from the tunnel and there he was -- 60 feet away! He waved and gave a 3-minute speech. His comment was "Looks like we need a bigger boat!" Wow, there he was...awesome! I only wished Michele and Ceddy were here to enjoy it with me. :-( By that time, she was already home, having called me while we were on the field.
I made sure to call her several times so she can hear things over the phone. Too bad we didn't come up with this plan before. Ah, well. He'll be back. :-)
The speech lasted til about noon and then I took the train to work. Which was packed, mind you. More like New York than Colorado. :-)
A fun day. One I won't soon forget.